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July 8, 2015

Jim Field

Jay Monahan

Clair Peterson


KEN GOLDEN: For those of you who don\'t know me, my name is Ken Golden. I\'m in public relations here at Deere & Company, and I want to thank you for coming out today. We have some fun news for you. We have three people who are going to speak, and after that, we\'ll have some opportunity for question and answer, and then certainly one-on-one interviews off to the side if you\'d like to have that, as well. We have with us today Jim Field, the president of the agriculture and turf division at Deere & Company; Jay Monahan, the deputy commissioner of the PGA TOUR; and Clair Peterson, tournament director of the John Deere Classic. Jim is the first speaker for us, and I welcome Jim to give us some comments.

JIM FIELD: Well, good morning. I welcome you all to today\'s announcement. Thank you for joining Jay, Clair, Ken and myself. You know, when you think back about our agreement with the PGA TOUR and the John Deere Classic, it\'s had a significant impact on many, many important areas for Deere. On the business side, the sponsorship has helped the company sell equipment, and it\'s helped us build relationships with customers, dealers, supplies, and others who are important to the success of John Deere. In addition and importantly, it\'s helped to promote the John Deere brand throughout the world. From a community perspective, hundreds of organizations have benefitted from millions of dollars made in contributions to the John Deere Classic. And then again, there\'s the great golf. Over the years, the John Deere Classic has had many exceptional championships and many exceptional champions, and in fact, what we would claim even some magical finishes. For all these reasons, for all these reasons, we think it\'s important to keep professional golf in the Quad Cities. Today we\'re announcing that Deere and the PGA TOUR have signed a seven-year extension to continue our sponsorship of the John Deere Classic. (Applause.) So if you\'ll bear with me for a minute, I\'ll go through some of the details. Our current agreement runs through 2016. This extension will take us through 2023. The current agreement calls for a multiple designation in the PGA TOUR\'s marketing partners program. All of these designations will remain. This means John Deere will remain the official golf course equipment supplier to the PGA TOUR, the official golf course equipment supplier of the TPC network, the official landscape product supplier of the PGA TOUR, and the official golf equipment leasing company of the PGA TOUR. These designations are important to our business because they provide us significant recognition in the golf industry, and in fact, in the golf industry, we\'ve been very successful over the years growing our market share, in part due to these endorsements. Just as importantly, over the years, we\'ve hosted tens of thousands of customers, dealers, suppliers and others that are important to the success of John Deere. In fact, this year alone, we will host more than 3,500 suppliers, dealers and employees that will participate in events during the tournament week. The sponsorship also promotes John Deere and the John Deere brand in a large way to a worldwide audience. More than 125 million households in the United States and more than 800 million households around the world have access to the tournament telecast. So as you can see, the business benefits by themselves are quite clear and very compelling. However, we believe it\'s equally important to be an outstanding corporate citizen at John Deere. Our sponsorship helps us give back to our important Quad City community. Since the tournament began in 1971, more than $60 million has been raised for the community and charitable organizations in the community. In fact, in 2014 alone, 471 organizations benefitted from more than $6.3 million that this tournament generated for their benefit. The John Deere Classic and the Quad City community together remain the No. 1 per capita in charitable donations on the PGA TOUR, quite a distinction in my view. Also, the tournament helps the local economy. In fact, recently a study was conducted, and we estimate that the John Deere Classic has an impact of more than $50 million annually to the Quad City community. This impact includes the money visitors spend on our hotels, restaurants, other retail stores and operations and other businesses. It also includes the wide ranges of services needed to support the tournament. The John Deere Classic is likely amongst the top events in this community in terms of annual economic impacts. So we at John Deere believe that sponsorship is a wise investment in our business and a wise investment in our community, and the impact from a financial standpoint on the community is indisputably large. That is why we are so proud to move forward with this extension. Now I would like to welcome Jay Monahan, the deputy commissioner, to provide some comments from the TOUR\'s perspective. (Applause.)

JAY MONAHAN: What a spectacular morning. Thank you, Jim, and thanks to all of the great people at John Deere & Company for your incredible support of the John Deere Classic and of the PGA TOUR. I also want to take a moment to say a special thank you to the members of the media that are here with us today, all of whom have told the story of the John Deere Classic so beautifully through the years and have told the story of the charity economic impact and the impact on the Quad Cities so beautifully. So thank you for your partnership and your support. We\'re obviously excited to have this opportunity to celebrate another long-term extension with you, as Jim noted, encompassing both the tournament sponsorship and our official marketing relationship. When this partnership began in 1998 with John Deere becoming an official marketing partner and making the commitment to sponsor the tournament the following year, we were, and I will add, I was not at the PGA TOUR at the time, confident that we would succeed, and we were confident that we would succeed due to the quality and commitment of the John Deere organization and the corporate values that are shared between our two organizations that you see lived out every year during the week of the John Deere Classic. So again, needless to say, we couldn\'t be more pleased with the direction that this has all taken in the 17 and a half years since. John Deere unquestionably has had a tremendous impact on the success and growth of the John Deere Classic, not only as title sponsors since 1999 but also through its role with the TOUR and the development of TPC Deere Run, which has proven to be the ideal home for the tournament since 2000. Again, as Jim noted, the tournament obviously continues to have a tremendous impact on the Quad Cities area, both in terms of economic impact and charity, two measurements that we live by and seek to grow every single year of our existence. The John Deere Classic has raised over $60 million for charity since 1970. You can\'t just say that number without wanting to stop for a second and think about how awe-inspiring that is, so congratulations to everyone in that regard. Again, what the tournament has accomplished in terms of charitable donations is nothing short of remarkable for a market this size, thanks in large part to the foresight in creating the Birdies For Charity program that today is being utilized by tournaments throughout the TOUR, and again, and I\'ll restate that the John Deere Classic is the leader in charitable donations per capita on the PGA TOUR, an incredible statement about this community. All of you can take tremendous pride in the role that you all played in helping the tournament surpass $6 million for three straight years, again, helping hundreds of charitable organizations throughout the region, and I suspect that we\'ll continue to see that growth this year and as we move forward. And equally important for the TOUR has been our marketing relationship, which again, began in 1998 with John Deere\'s designation as the official golf course equipment provider of the PGA TOUR. John Deere subsequently became the official golf course equipment supplier of the TPC network, providing equipment for all of our TPC facilities, over 30, around the country, expanding globally, as well as the TOUR\'s official landscape product supplier and official golf course equipment leasing company. Those are a lot of designations. If I were to put it succinctly, I would just say in short that John Deere is the official everything to the PGA TOUR and to the TPC network. We take great pride in the quality of maintenance at all of our TPCs, and that obviously can\'t be done without the world class equipment that John Deere provides. So with such a great history together and a new agreement through 2023, we look forward to the continuation of this highly successful relationship from a tournament and a business perspective. Now, one last thing before we hear from Clair Peterson. I just wanted to say that the words of Jim as it relates to growing the business of John Deere & Company, selling more product and building your brand are words that inspire us, and as we go forward, we just want you to know and everyone to know that we\'re committed to the continued growth of your business and your brand, and it\'s one thing for me to say it; I think really the people that you want to hear from are our players, and so we went out and had a few players contribute to a video that I think, as you\'ll hear and as you will see, tells you all and tells us all how much John Deere means to players on the PGA TOUR. With that, I\'m going to roll the video. Thank you, again, and congratulations to everyone on today\'s exciting announcement. (Video shown.) Before I introduce Clair I wanted to recognize another important person in the audience with us today, and that\'s Lance Barrow, executive producer fore CBS. This tournament will be broadcast in over 225 countries and territories, close to a billion homes, and Lance is the person at the controls that\'s orchestrating it all and has told the story of this area and this tournament so beautifully through the years, so Lance, thanks, and he\'s a member of the John Deere Classic board. I now want to turn it over to Clair Peterson. I\'ve had the good fortune of working with Clair for his entire 13 years as he has served as tournament director of the John Deere Classic, and he does an exceptional job obviously with the tournament here, but I think for everyone in the area. One sign of the testament of Clair\'s strength as a tournament director, he\'s served as the tournament advisory chair for the PGA TOUR, essentially the organization of tournaments that advises and works closely with us on all tournament-related business matters, and is a trusted member of the tournament world and has been a great leader of this tournament. Ladies and gentlemen, Clair Peterson.

CLAIR PETERSON: Thanks. As I expected, much has already been said, so I won\'t repeat all of the things that we\'ve highlighted, but I can\'t help but flash back to 1997, April 2nd, in this very display floor area, we had risers on the other side, announcing John Deere\'s nine-year agreement to be title sponsor and official supplier. And I remember that there was a conscious decision to do it on April 2nd because if we did it on April 1st no one would believe that it was true. And that\'s true. It was unprecedented. It was exciting, and it\'s been a continuing success story. We talk about this year being the 45th year that the PGA TOUR has stopped in the Quad Cities. As I listen to Jim and Jay, I can\'t help but think that this area is so blessed by having them entrust us with their brand. The PGA TOUR and John Deere are two of the most well-recognized brands in the world, well-respected brands in the world. And we are entrusted with producing and presenting a product that represents what they stand for, and we take that very seriously. When we signed this agreement, it\'s a three-party agreement. The third brand, the third leg of this agreement is the Quad Cities, and I feel as if that\'s what I really need to speak to. All of the ladies and gentlemen in blue blazers are volunteer board members. We have 100 volunteer committee chairs. This year we had 1,900 people step forward, which is 400 more than last year, to volunteer to put this event on, to meet the brand standards of John Deere and the PGA TOUR. We are so fortunate, and really that\'s the story of the third leg, the 45-year history of people in this area stepping forward. There\'s 20,000 people who make donations through the Birdies For Charity program to get to that $6.3 million. So we are proud and privileged to be able to present this event as a third leg of the stool. As I was sitting there, I couldn\'t help but look at the banner as you walk into this building, and it\'s a John Deere quote, "I will never put my name on a product that does not have in it the best that is in me," and that\'s what the volunteers have been doing here since 1971. So we\'re appreciative, we\'re excited, we couldn\'t be more proud, and thank you very much on behalf of the Quad Cities for entrusting us with your brands.

KEN GOLDEN: I don\'t know if Jay will let us put official everything of the PGA TOUR on any of our advertisements, but we\'ll ask him. Now it\'s time for question and answer from this group. We can also do one-on-one interviews if that\'s what you\'d prefer, but we\'ll have people step up if you have questions.

Q. (No microphone.)
JAY MONAHAN: I\'d be guessing and I don\'t want to guess, but we will get right back to you afterwards with who that is.

Q. (No microphone.)
JAY MONAHAN: Well, you know, when you come to the Quad Cities, I was looking at some of the data last night, you\'re talking anywhere -- if you go back over the past 20 years, anywhere between, I believe, 320,000 and 430,000 people, depending on who you\'re looking at with census estimates, and we\'re in -- we\'ve got 46 events over the course of the schedule, and we\'re in the top 10 DMAs around the country. Our top producing tournament is generating roughly $10 million for charity. You think of the size of some of those markets and you think of the yield from this market, and it\'s just extraordinarily impressive. If you go back to the origins of this organization, we are -- the PGA TOUR is chartered to create playing and financial opportunities for our members, but we\'re also responsible for making a positive impact in the communities where we play, and the way that we do that is through charity and economic impact, and you go back to the conversations in 1998 and actually go back to 1970, you go to that critical point in time in 1998, and you think, $62 million, $6.3 million last year, and you realize that this really is the essence of what the organization is meant to be about. Sorry I didn\'t have an answer to your original question, but I appreciate you asking it because it is something that is really special about this tournament. Thank you.

Q. (Question regarding the contract extension.)
JAY MONAHAN: We have -- over the past 18 months, we\'re fortunate we\'ve got a number of great partners. We\'ve had four 10-year extensions in the past 18 months, so we have -- this is the fifth tournament, I believe, that is out through at least 2023. But I mean, I think the only way that you get to a position like this is to have a world-class company in John Deere that is so committed to its people, its products and its market, and to have the length of time where this community, as Clair just noted, demonstrate that this is vital to the area, and I think this really is a culmination -- seven years is just one indication of how special this event is, and we appreciate those seven years.

Q. (No microphone.)
JAY MONAHAN: You know, I\'ve learned, been around this business long enough to know to not let anything that this tournament does surprise you, and you know, you just look at the quality of players and this important time of year and the FedExCup season, you\'ve got a lot of great story lines this year. I think just being another year with so many young players are stepping forward. I was joking with Clair and Jim earlier, I think that they\'ve sprinkled some of the pixie dust in terms of the playoffs and some of the dramatic finishes in our other tournaments because we\'re seeing a lot more of that playoff drama that we\'ve seen here at the John Deere Classic in some of our other tournaments. To say it surprises me, I think surprised would probably be -- wouldn\'t be the word I would use. I would say that they continue to find ways to get better, and so it\'s fun to see the ways that they do that year in and year out. This is an incredibly exciting time for the PGA TOUR, so I suspect our players will create the drama that we\'ve seen here over the past several years and Lance will capture it all on CBS.

CLAIR PETERSON: Before we forget, there\'s one board member that isn\'t in a blue blazer. Lance Barrow asked us three, four years ago, maybe five years ago - time goes fast - if he could join our board, which we thought was an amazingly generous thing to do, especially with his schedule. He like Zach Johnson calls in once a month for our exec meetings, too, so thank you for officially being a board member as well as representing us in the best fashion possible.
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